17 November 2017


During this time of year we have been learning a bit about our national holiday of Thanksgiving.  We shared the book, Thank You, Sarah.  This book tells about the persistent efforts of Sarah Hale to convince the President of the United States of the importance of making Thanksgiving a national holiday.  Students participated in creating a class chart and an individual page outlining some of the qualities that Sarah had in order to achieve her goal.  

We also have had many discussions about gratitude and being thankful.  We read about Squanto and how he helped the pilgrims plant corn and survive in a new land.  The legend of the five kernels of corn helped us learn to be thankful for beauty all around, the love of our families, to be happy with all we have, the help of our friends, and of the free country in which we live.  We each had the opportunity to write a thank you letter to someone we love.

10 November 2017

Fall Fun

We have been sharing "enormous" books this week which include:  The Enormous Watermelon, The Enormous Carrot, Big Pumpkin, The Enormous Potato, and The Enormous Turnip.  Students were able to discuss and identify the characters, setting, problem and resolution in each of the stories.  We also brainstormed other words that mean "enormous" such as gigantic, large, huge, humongous, big, and massive.

During our study of the fall season we read and discussed squirrels.  We have read fiction and nonfiction books about squirrels and have completed science and math activities related to squirrels.  Students had the opportunity to be like squirrels and hide their own cache of "nuts" in the classroom.  At the end of the day they tried to find all of the "nuts" they hid.  Just like squirrels some students had a hard time remembering where nuts were!

Scaredy Squirrel has become one of our favorite book characters.  This book helped talk about some character education topics such as being brave and making friends.  The squirrel in the book also makes a written plan of things to do just like the how to writing we will be working on during independent writing time.

We are still working on handwriting of numbers through 10 and letters f, k, o, w, and z.  Practice phonemic awareness skills of being able to identify beginning sounds of words and blending phonemes (individual sounds) together.

Next month students will need to pass off rote counting to 100 and counting objects to 20.  Please practice these skills at home with your child.  We have also been working on developing our number sense by focusing on a number and finding all the ways to build that number or all of the combinations to make that number.  Such as, 5 can be 1 and 4; 2 and 3; 0 and 5; 4 and 1 or 3 and 2.

November 22-24: Thanksgiving Holiday - NO School

03 November 2017

Four Seasons

We have been reading and learning about the four seasons of the year. We have been able to read several fact books about the four seasons and learn about what happens in each season. We also have learned and discussed what the weather is like in each season, what we wear in each season and what animals do in the different seasons. Students have been doing a great job of using their reading strategies to help them gather information from the books we have read.

We have also focused a lot on the difference between facts and opinions. Students should be able to tell you what a fact is and what an opinion is. At home talk with your child and help them share their opinion about a fact you have heard.  We focused on the fall season and identified facts about the fall season and our opinions about the fall season.

At school we have been busy building repeating patterns with blocks, pictures, and tiles. We have worked on simple patterns such as AB, ABB, AAB, and ABC. Use a variety of objects, movements, and sounds to create patterns with your child. Ask your child to define "repeating pattern" and they should be able to tell you that a pattern is something that repeats or goes over and over again and you can tell what comes next.

We have continued handwriting practice and have worked on handwriting of the following letters: a, d, g, h, t, x, b, i, l, p, s and f and the numerals 0-9.  Remind your child of the correct formation of these letters as he/she practices writing.  Thank you for continuing practicing handwriting on the homework with your child.

Please continue working on blending beginning of words to the end of the word with your child.  For example, say:  /b/      /at/    and have your child say the word:  bat.   Also, work on having your student generate rhyming words.  These can even be nonsense words as long as they sound alike at the end.

27 October 2017

Bone Soup

We had a fun time this week focusing on various versions of the traditional tale, Stone Soup.  We talked about cooperation and working together when reading the original story.  Students enjoyed reading Yuck Soup and hearing about some yucky things the creatures put in their soup.  We were able to taste a variety of treats and decided if we though they were "yucky" or "yummy".  Students created a graph each day to see how many liked the treat and how many did not.

After reading Bone Soup students wrote their own recipe of things they would put in their own "yuck soup".  We also tasted some "yucky" things and shared our opinion whether we liked the item or not.  We also created our own "bone soup" with some creepy (but tasty) treats such as pretzels, candy bones, chocolate eyeballs, and gummy worms.  Students were able to mix up their bone soup in their own personal black pot.

We read the book Room On The Broom, a rhyming and add on book about a witch and animals she gives a ride to on her broom.  Students worked in groups with picture cards to retell the story and sequence the events.  We also used a large broom to do simple adding problems with ourselves as characters in the story.

18 October 2017

Phonological And Phonemic Awareness

What is phonological awareness?  What is phonemic awareness?  How can I help my child?

Phonological awareness is the ability to recognize that words are made up of a variety of sound units.  As a child develops phonological awareness he/she comes to understand that words are made up of small sound units (phonemes).  He/she also learns that words can be segmented into larger sound "chunks" known as syllables.  Phonological awareness provides the basis for phonics (the understanding that sounds and print letters are connected).

Phonemic awareness is a part of phonological awareness and is the ability to focus on and manipulate phonemes in a word.  A phoneme is the smallest unit of spoken language.  For example, in the word "check" we hear 3 phonemes:  /ch/   /e/   /ck/

Children typically go through stages of phonological development:

  • word awareness
  • rhyme awareness
  • syllable awareness (blending and segmenting)
  • awareness of initial consonant sound
  • awareness of alliteration (producing groups of words that begin with the same first sound)
  • onset and rime awareness (for example, in the word "can" the onset is /c/ and the rime is /an/)
  • phoneme blending and segmenting
  • phoneme manipulation
To help your child begin with having your child count the number of words in a sentence.  Remember when practicing phonological skills you don't need to have letters, words or pictures, everything should be done verbally.  Listen to songs and fingerplays and point out the rhyming words and have your child repeat the rhyming words and listen for how the words sound alike at the end.  

Many research studies have shown how strong the connection is between a child being able to hear and manipulate sounds in words and becoming a successful reader.  Just a few minutes practice or playing word games with your child each day will have a powerful positive effect on his/her reading ability.

17 October 2017

Fall Break

Reminder:  Fall Break is Thursday, October 19th and Friday, October 20th.  No school will be held on those days.

13 October 2017

Going Batty

We have been doing some research about bats! We have already asked questions about bats and to read some non fiction books to learn about bats.  We will continue learning about bats and creating a "Bat Facts" book to record some of the information we learn throughout the month.

After learning a bit about bats we created a bat graph in which the students expressed their opinion:  I like bats, I don't like bats, I'm not sure.  We discussed the picture graph the class created with paper bats by identifying which choice had more or less.  Students then created their own bar graph on paper replicating our class graph by using one to one correspondence as they counted the correct number in each column.

Also in mathematics we have been working on sorting a variety of objects.  The definition of sorting that we have been learning is:  Putting the same things together in a group.  We can sort by color, shape, size or the kind of thing.

Continue working on sorting various objects at home and also have your child talk about how he/she sorted.  It is important that students can have a conversation about mathematical skills such as sorting to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the skill.  Therefore, having your child explain his/her sorting rule to you or being able to explain why an item belongs in a certain group is just as necessary as the action of sorting.

Thank you for continuing to complete handwriting homework each week as well as reading with your child.  You should have received the kindergarten October reading calendar to keep track of the minutes read throughout the month.  The difficult task this month is for students to learn their address!  Thanks for your help with this core card skill.